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A New Weapon In The War Against Hunger?
August 31, 2011
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The head of the UN refugee agency called today for more food aid to be sent to Somalia. The U.N. estimates more than 3 million Somalis are in need of aid. Five regions in Somalia are suffering from famine and officials say that will increase in the coming weeks. There's also widespread hunger in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Djibouti. Overall, more than 12 million people need help. And to make matters worse, some of the food aid is apparently being stolen.

Of course, with a disaster of this size, aid agencies have to deliver aid as quickly as they can. Well now, there's a new idea on how to do it. A company called Matternet says it's working on a plan to use unmanned aerial drones to deliver aid to people in rural areas.

The initial prototype drone has four propellers, with each one capable of carrying 2.2 pounds of supplies. The company expects a future design to be capable of carrying a four pound load. Each drone should cost a few hundred dollars - the company plans to turn a profit by charging aid agencies for the use of its fleet.

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